- think long term...what is it that you and/or the organization needs to accomplish in the long run and what, if it is not done today, will put that future in jeopardy?
- ask others in the organization...this is not about having someone else set the agenda; it is about getting a sense what is important to those one leads.
- review the position description...what is it you were asked to do when you started in the position Does it still make sense and, if so, are you actually doing those things?
- consider the mission...are the activities in which you are engaged helping to advance the mission; and by that I mean in significant ways, not only incrementally
- consider the margin...do your activities have a return on investment for the organization that is tangible and creates a greater financial margin at the end of the year?
- consider the people...while it has become almost trite to say that the greatest resource an organization has is its people, there is still truth in the concept.
Now comes the hard part - choosing the few things that need to be done, narrowing the list down to what only the leader can do (and delegating much of the rest), scheduling the activities on one's calendar, and then actually executing on those items that are really important. While this can be a difficult exercise for many who have assumed leadership roles, it should also be freeing and rewarding...and it should give back one's time. Let "doing really important things" be your new personal badge of honor!